All posts by Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Power of People 2018

People. People put the power of place into perspective. They pull us back into places we remember, milestones. They set us soaring toward our dreams, reaching for our own stars. They bring us down to Earth. They anchor us, our memories, our life journeys.

So, in honor of bringing the people in our lives, our communities, all into focus on the journey of one year in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, we offer a glimpse at the people around us in 20018. Relive. Remember. Treasure.

Happy New Year! Be sure to stop, take a look at the faces around you and embrace the memories created in 2019 …

Take a look back (and don’t forget to CLICK to ENLARGE!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Power of Place 2018

There’s a lot to be said about the importance of place in people’s lives. It defines us in many ways. It brings us comfort. It triggers memories. It is a bookmark in our hearts. Oftentimes that important place is home.

So, to pay homage to the profound power of place in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, home, we offer a glimpse back to significant places of 2018 and many decades preceding it.

Happy New Year! Take a look and let the photos give a tug at your heartstrings. Remember.

(Oh, and don’t forget to click on each photo to enlarge and get the full view!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Prosecutor: Youth Tennis Instructor Indicted on New Charges in Connection with Child Porn, Kidnapping

A local youth tennis instructor has been indicted on aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping and several other related charges in connection with several incidents of child pornography and misconduct involving a student and other local children, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced on Wednesday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Youth Tennis Instructor Indicted on New Charges in Connection with Child Porn, Kidnapping

A First Fair Haven Christmas

Merry Christmas, Rumson and Fair Havenites! Cherish your day, make those memories and hold on tight to them. One day they will be your best Christmas present.

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes you back to 1964 and a first Christmas in Fair Haven for the R-FH Retro publisher and her family.

What could be better than a first Christmas in Fair Haven? How about another generation raised there and 53 more Christmases? It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Until it doesn’t and all a native Fair Havenite has are magical memories of growing up on the street where she lived and all she wants for Christmas is to go home.

So, to those who have left home, close your eyes. Remember. Go back home for that first Christmas. Smile.

On our first Fair Haven Christmas, we asked Santa at the firehouse to grant our modest gift wishes and he did. I got that “doll with a wind” whose retail name is forgotten and sister got a Pebbles doll.

Yes, and the blow-up Santa is a bit freaky looking, but all the rage in the 1960s.

Did you get what you wanted from Santa? Send us your photos at evd@rfhretro.com and we’ll post them. Keep making those memories. Happy holidays, hometown friends.

Focus: Fair Haven Holiday House Decoration Winners

Drum roll please … for, perhaps, the little drummer nutcracker boys on the front porch of the first-place winner of the first Fair Haven Holiday House Decoration Contest — the Ruscignos at 39 Parker Avenue.

Ben, Maria and Rocco Ruscigno added some special touches this year, they said. They collected PJs for ill children and their families at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Children’s Hospital in an effort to give back the kindness they received when Rocco was ill one year. In an effort to make the drop-off spot as festive and easy to find as possible, spirits soared and their house got the deluxe decoration treatment. Maria announced that they dropped off “100 pairs of brand new pajamas” to Jersey Shore. She thanked all for the donations.

Congratulations to the Ruscignos!

Second place went to the family at 11 Country Lane with the beautiful array of white lights. If you’ve done your holiday lights drive with due diligence every year, you’ve surely seen and admired the display here.

And third place went to the folks at 77 Poplar Ave., whose home is adorned with lots of festive multicolored lights and decorations year after year.

All the entries were drive-by worthy. Take a ride around the borough to see for yourself. There were 13 that were entered in the contest. In the meantime, take a look at some photos of the winners. And don’t forget to click to enlarge!

Prosecutor: 82-Year-Old Charged with Murder in Fatal Hit-and-Run

An 82-year old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a male pedestrian who was struck and killed during a hit and run incident on Friday evening in Asbury Park, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Continue reading Prosecutor: 82-Year-Old Charged with Murder in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Prosecutor: DWI Convictions Between 2008 and 2016 Could be Overturned

From the Monmouth County Prosecutor …

On November 13, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case of State of New Jersey v. Eileen Cassidy. The Court found that all blood alcohol content (“BAC”) results reported by Alcotest machines “calibrated” by former New Jersey State Police Sergeant Marc Dennis between 2008 and 2016 are not scientifically reliable and, therefore, are inadmissible as evidence in prosecutions of Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”).

Continue reading Prosecutor: DWI Convictions Between 2008 and 2016 Could be Overturned

Memorial Set for Fair Haven Fire Department 30-Year Member, Chris Bertell, 88

You didn’t have to know lifetime Rumson and Fair Havenite Chris Bertell for him to have touched your life and put a smile on your face, if only for a moment, especially at holiday time. That’s because he was the guy who, year after year, set a festive, antique Santa-driven Ford Model T on his River Road lawn. It was a traffic stopper. It was also a heart warmer.

And when people think back on holiday time in Fair Haven, most remember that guy, Chris Bertell, who set out to spread a little joy with a car, some lights and good ol’ Saint Nick. They also remember him as the guy in town who loved antique cars and dalmatians and shared that love with many.

Bertell also saw many through emergencies as a 30-year life member of the Fair Haven Fire Department many-time president and ex-captain of the department’s Fire Police. He was also that go-to guy in the community for electrical repairs with his longtime business, Chris’ Electric.  

Bertell, also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and member of the Masons, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Riverview Medical Center. He was 88.

A memorial is set for Bertell from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.22. There will be a fire company service at 11. And The avid volunteer and lover of antique cars and dalmatians 

Chris is survived by: his wife of 60 years Frieda “Ruth” (Dudley); and his cousin, Vincent Domidion, of Morganville. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Chris’ name to the ASPCA, 260 Wall Street, PO Box 93, Eatontown, NJ 07724.

RIP, Chris Bertell. You are remembered.


Retro Winter Warmth with RFH Clowns on the Beach

It may be winter, but the warm memories of good times with old RFH classmates keeps things cozy no matter what. And all warm, fuzzy, beachy thoughts surface when those RFH classmates plan a post-reunion holiday get-together.

Yes, the RFH Class of ’78 is spreading cheer to one another again with a few cheers at Murphy’s on Friday. All friends and classmates are welcome to suit up (or not) and join in the merriment.

All the talk of reuniting and the warmth that memories inspire reminded us of a moment back in time when some RFH girls (we think they’re girls) took to some spectacular sort of sunbathing on the high school stage in their own special (Oh, it was special alright!) rendition of The Beach Boys’ Girls on the Beach in the Freshmen Follies.

The year was 1974 and this little ditty was done with a little lip syncing and sunbathing gear that was telling of what was in some moms’ closets in that era. Sorry, moms, it was a bit scary.

In honor of it all, the triple-dose Retro Pic(s) of the (George) Day are dedicated to this special crew of stunners.

Recognize any of these sun worshippers? Who’s that behind those Foster Grants or Acme specials? Who in this photo was on the RFH Class of ’78 reunion committee?

Somehow, I doubt anyone would be up to some beach blanket bingo with these gals.

Thanks, once again, to RFH alum George Day for this photo collage treat!

— Elaine Van Develde

RFH Football Champs Sign College Letters of Intent

Five Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) State Championship football players have made their college choices official. 

The athletes signed letters of intent on Thursday, sealing their college deals. 

The athletes and their college choices are:

• Evan Davis — University at Buffalo

• Alex Maldjian — Middlebury College

• Ryan McCann — Yale University

• Ian O’Connor — Lehigh University

• Henry Sullivan — Colgate University

Coach Robert Orrok, Coach Christopher Quinn,
Head Coach Jerry Schulte,
Coach Jeremy Schulte 
Ian O’Connor (Lehigh), Evan Davis (Buffalo), Henry Sullivan (Colgate), Ryan McCann (Yale), Alex Maldjian (Middlebury). 

This is the first signing day of the school year for football. Additional commitments will be made in February. 

— Press release from RFH

Prosecutor: Woman Charged in 1992 Murder of 12-Year-Old

A Monmouth County cold case has been solved. A former Asbury Park woman has been charged in the 1992 fatal shooting of a 12-year-old girl.

The woman, now 40 and living in Henderson, North Carolina, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter for the killing of Quiana Dees, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced on Thursday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Woman Charged in 1992 Murder of 12-Year-Old